Actor Eric McCormack was born in Toronto, Canada, on April 18, 1963. As a teenager, McCormack had developed an interest in acting (inspired in part by his father, who had once pursued a career as a thespian), and after graduating from high school, he enrolled in Toronto's Ryerson Theater School. McCormack left Ryerson in 1985, several months before graduation, in order to accept a position with the well-respected Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario. Over the course of five seasons with the Stratford company, McCormack rose from bit parts to major roles in productions such as A Midsummer Night's Dream and Henry V, and he developed a reputation as one of Canada's most promising stage actors.
In 1991, McCormack scored his first screen role in a remake of the classic dinosaur saga The Lost World, and in 1992, he was cast on a syndicated TV series, Street Justice, as Detective Carl Weathers. Moving to Vancouver that same year, McCormack stayed busy over the next several years with a variety of television projects shot in Canada (including recurring roles in two series, Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years and Townies) and occasional feature films (most notably Holy Man and Free Enterprise). In 1998, McCormack got his big break when he was cast as Will Truman, a gay lawyer, on the situation comedy series Will and Grace. Well received by critics, Will and Grace slowly grew into a ratings winner, eventually garnering a multitude of industry awards. McCormack's work on the show earned him Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy Series every year from 2000-2003; he also received several Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series and brought the award home in 2001.
Over the coming decade, McCormack would appear in a number of acclaimed TV series, including The New Adventures of Old Christine and Perception.